Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder
The term ‘substance (or medication-induced) anxiety disorder’ is the medical diagnosis for the serious anxiety or panic which is directly caused by alcohol, drugs, or medication. When a person abuses drugs, medication and/or alcohol it can, and most likely will, cause mental health problems which include substance-induced anxiety disorder. When a person is addicted to a substance, their brain’s pleasure and reward centre change and this causes a significant neurotransmitter imbalance.
Anxiety Disorder – What is a neurotransmitter imbalance?
Certain conditions can be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters between the brain’s nerve cells. An example of this is depression, which is thought to be a result of having a minimal amount of serotonin present in the brain. By taking certain medication, the amount of serotonin is increased therefore restoring the balance in the amount of neurotransmitters present in the brain.
So how does a substance affect our brain?
When a person uses a substance, it can cause neurological and cognitive impairments. When a person is caught in the cycle of addiction which leads to the imbalanced disorder such as anxiety and depression, and though there are holistic approaches that are proven to be beneficial, we also recommend getting professional advice, counselling and treatment in the step towards recovery.
Millions of people worldwide battle daily with substance abuse and mental health disorders. The link between substance abuse and mental health is a strong one and it is important to note that a person with a mental health disorder is more than likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. This is often as a result of the person attempting to self-medicate. Combined, substance addiction and mental health disorders work strongly together in impacting the way your brain functions. They alter the brain’s very delicate chemistry and ultimately cause neurotransmitter imbalances.
What happens after the imbalance?
Once a brain is see-sawing in an imbalanced state, with neurotransmitters all over the place, the person often begins to compulsively abuse drugs, medication and/or alcohol, even if it causes negative issues in the life of the person. This can carry on despite the user wanting to quit. A flood of neurotransmitters are released when a person uses (abuses) substances like drugs and alcohol. This is what causes the pleasurable feelings of intoxication, or the ‘high.’ It’s easy to see why someone may think that this is the correct/right feeling to have, isn’t it? It’s quite the opposite however, as the impact of the flood of neurotransmitters changes your brain’s pleasure and reward centres. You see, the human brain connects the dots between the substance used and pleasure and rewards the body. Should a person stop using the drug it then ‘punishes’ the addict by limiting the release of neurotransmitters.
What Anxiety Disorder feels like during addiction
While a person is addicted to a substance, they experience personality and mood changes and anxiety. When they become physically addicted to a substance they can experience withdrawal symptoms a day after their last use. The combination of withdrawal symptoms and intensified cravings can make it challenging to recover from addiction without the help of skilled professionals in a rehabilitation centre. This is why it is crucial for those using drugs ( or rather, abusing drugs) to seek help as soon as possible.
What exactly is a Substance Induced Anxiety Disorder?
Simply put, a substance-induced anxiety disorder is the long-term effect caused by drug or alcohol abuse which has led to anxiety issues. Similarly, a medication-induced anxiety disorder is also possible. This happens when a prescribed medication leads to anxiety disorder symptoms. When a person is fighting both substance abuse and mental health issues it is imperative to seek out a rehabilitation centre which offers a dual-diagnosis programme of recovery. These dual diagnosis programmes specialise in treating co-occurring disorders.
What happens at a rehabilitation centre?
When a patient checks into a rehabilitation centre for treatment they can attend either inpatient or outpatient programmes. The inpatient programme is more intensive and internal; the patient resides and remains at the centre permanently while the programme takes place. The outpatient programme is centred on receiving treatment in a more flexible to life environment allowing for family and work responsibilities to be met. Patients meet early evenings every weekday,5 days a week for therapy and will be involved in group and individual therapy.
For more information on dealing with alcohol or substance abuse and getting yourself into rehab to start a new life, call Houghton House now:
office hours: 011 787 9142
24/7 emergency help line: 079 770 7532